It’s known as a primo skiing destination, where snow bunnies flock in the winter, but here’s what to do during warm weather in Steamboat Springs.
We spent five days exploring Steamboat Springs this past summer with my family, which turned out to be the perfect large group destination. You can rent any number of massive mountainside houses with stunning views and fill your days with outdoor family fun. Just rent a car in Denver and make the 2-3 hour drive (depending on traffic) to this utopian ski town and you’re sure to have a blast — but watch out for deer on your way!
Here’s what to do during warm weather in Steamboat Springs, our top five favorites.
5. Yampa River Botanic Gardens
This idyllic little park is meditative space to take a break. Wander around ponds and weave through little “secret trails,” as my niece called them. There is even a fairy garden.
4. Fishcreek Falls
Put on your hiking shoes and trek the somewhat steep climb to the far falls at Fishcreek. It’s 5-6 miles roundtrip and worth the effort. The waterfalls are beautiful and you can splash around in them to cool off. Or, if you’re not up for the longer hike, enjoy views from the .25 mile walk to an overlook. It’s still gorgeous.
3. Ride in a hot air balloon
While I didn’t ride in one personally (not a fan of heights), I watched a hot air balloon ascend and descend over the mountains every morning in Steamboat while I drank my coffee. It was a beautiful sight and I can only imagine how lovely the scenery must be from the balloon.
2. The Alpine Slide
It’s perhaps a little overpriced and the experience varies greatly depending on the speed of the sled you receive, but the Alpine Slide is still a really fun activity. You take a ski lift to the top of the hill (mountain? somewhere in between?) and ride down a giant slide on a sled. It’ll transport you right back into your childhood.
1. Strawberry Hot Springs
The crown jewel of our Steamboat Springs experience was the Strawberry Hot Springs, inside a state park about a 20-minute drive from town. The cost is $15 per person and the springs are open until 10 PM. There are pools of all different temperatures, so you can take your pick. The facilities are basic but the setting is gorgeous. I’ve heard that some people sneak in booze during the dark evening hours and go skinnydipping — not condoning it, but also not not condoning it.
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Lead image courtesy of creative commons. Strawberry Hot Springs image captured by Sarah M. on a Google Pixel. All other images captured by Melissa M. on an iPhone 8 Plus.